I would be fascinated to know exactly what the overall most successful bass bait of all time is - I am sure this kind of thing can never be proven one way or the other, but live sandeel has to to figure right up there. Going out with the guys from Premier Baits on Friday was a real eye opener as to how a professional outfit goes about getting sandeels from the sea to the customer in an enticingly wriggly state. As you can see in the photo above, the day started off with a some really thick fog, but this quickly broke to give a stunning morning.
There is no other way to harvest sandeels for bait than good old fashioned back breaking work. There's me tripping up all over the boat as I try and nail the shots, doing all I can not to get in the way, and the guys kept on smiling at yet another "hold it there for a second" or "hang on, can I get in here" from me, the photographer. It's St. Ives you can see in the background.
If you want to get hold of some of the finest live sandeels you are ever going to see, you need to get yourself down to Hayle in Cornwall and see the guys from Premier Baits. Call Dave Dunstan on 01209 217062 or 07770 688207, or call Saul Astrinsky on 01736 796234 or 07779 316756 - they will also go out of their way to help you with advice on setting up proper tanks at home to store large quantities of live eels. They are getting some very good sandeels at the moment, and weather allowing, you will be able to buy eels off them until at least mid-October. Bass beware !!
I remember when I used to have a tank here at home for keeping prawns in, and I was always convinced that my wife used to "acquire" a number of them and then eat them without me knowing !! She has never admitted to the crime, but I reckon she is guilty as hell. Any time I mention how much I used to love and cherish my prawns, she goes bright red and changes the subject. What a killer thornback ray bait........
Above is a sight that any keen fisherman would dream about - a stack of live sandeels just out of the water. You would not believe the work and effort it takes to keep these things in perfect condition from the sea to their (huge) tanks through to the customer. I had a fantastic time with them, and I am going to try and go out bass fishing with them next to do a follow up piece on the guys nailing bass on their own product.